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date: 19 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The aims of phenomenology are to clarify, describe, and make sense of the structures and dynamics of pre-reflective human experience, whereas hermeneutics aims to articulate the reflective character of human experience as it manifests in language and other forms of creative signs. This suggests that the two approaches differ in aims, methods, and subject matter. A closer look at the two disciplines reveals, however, that in terms of history, themes, and philosophical goals they have more in common than that which separates them. This chapter examines these differences and common features in the philosophy of Heidegger and Gadamer, then demonstrates how Ricoeur’s hermeneutical phenomenology provides us with a dialectical account of personal identity that can contribute to phenomenological psychopathology. The combination of a phenomenological clarification of selfhood and a hermeneutical emphasis on interpretation paves the way for an interdisciplinary approach to mental illness.

Keywords: interpretation, language, experience, selfhood, hermeneutical phenomenology, personal identity

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